As part of the activities for the PAUSTI Incubation centre, a Pre-Incubation Programme was launched in September following a call for applications. The programme engaged 23 innovators across different PAUSTI Programmes. 16 out of the 23 programme participants were selected to pitch their innovations bidding for an opportunity to receive funding to develop their business models and product prototypes. As the 3-months programme rounded off, 11 innovators were selected. They will each receive up to $5,000 in grant awards and further specialized support through a 6-months incubation programme.
This 3-months Pre-Incubation Programme was designed to help students at PAUSTI refine and validate their innovative ideas. The programme took a design-thinking approach to problem-solving, which adopts a more hands-on approach to prototyping and testing new ideas.
The methodology helped innovators re-frame their problem statements in human-centric ways, generate ideas for solutions that align well with the needs of their potential customers, and therefore increase the chances of success for their solutions. In addition, the innovators got specific training and mentorship from iHub’s extensive, pan-African industry network.